Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima is elated over the dismissal of one of the three trumped-up drug cases filed against her by the Duterte administration.
De Lima, the most prominent political prisoner under the present administration, said she considers the acquittal even in just one case as a moral victory.
“Ikinalulugod po natin ang pag-abswelto sa akin at pagbasura ng Korte sa aking kaso sa Criminal Case No. 17-166. To be acquitted even in just one case, in the time of Duterte, is a moral victory,” she said.
“Ang labang ito ay hindi lang personal kong laban, kundi laban ng sambayanan,” she added.
In separate rulings, Judge Liezel Aquiatan of Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 205 granted De Lima’s Demurrer to Evidence in Case Number 17-166, but denied the same in Case Number 17-165.
Notably, Judge Aquiatan denied the demurrer filed by De Lima’s co-accused, Jad Dera, in Case Number 17-166 but allowed the latter to post bail worth P500,000.
Meanwhile, Judge Aquiatan denied De Lima’s Motion for Bail in Case Number 17-165, which requires her legal camp to move to its presentation of evidence.
While her Demurrer to Evidence and Motion for Bail in Criminal Case No. 17-165 were denied, De Lima said she and her lawyers believe in the weakness of government evidence that will implicate her in the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
“Ang kaso laban sa akin ay conspiracy to engage in illegal drug trading. Pero ang lumabas sa mga pagdinig, walang ebidensya ng kasunduan. Walang kahit isang testigo na nagpatunay na ako at ang aking kapwa akusado ay nakipagsabwatan sa mga drug lords para maglako o magbenta ng ilegal na droga sa Bilibid,” she said.
“Sa katunayan, kahit isang testigo ng Prosecution, lalo na yung mga sinasabi nilang drug lord, itinatanggi nila ang pagiging drug lord. Sila mismo ang nagsabi sa Korte na hindi sila drug lord,” she added.
De Lima continued that aside from claiming that they are not drug lords, the government’s witnesses against her testified under oath that they don’t have illegal transactions with her or personal knowledge about her supposed involvement in drug trading in the NBP.
“Ibig sabihin, puro laway lang ang basehan,” she said.
The lady Senator from Bicol, who will mark her fourth year in unjust detention on Feb. 24, vowed that she would never allow her continued political persecution to stop her from fulfilling her mandate to the country and the Filipino people.
“Mula’t sapul, ang mga kasong ito ay ginagamit lamang na paraan para patahimikin ako at gambalain ang aking paglilingkod sa bayan bilang Senador, sa paglaban sa kawalang hustisya at pagtataguyod ng karapatang mamuhay nang marangal at may dignidad ng ating mga kababayan, lalo na ang maralita,” she said.
“Tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang paghahain ko ng mga batas at pagsusulong sa aking adbokasiya, lalo na ang karapatang pantao, demokrasya at pangingibabaw ng batas. Tuloy-tuloy pa rin po ang ating pagtatrabaho,” she added.
De Lima said she will file a Motion for Reconsideration in relation to the court’s junking of her Demurrer to Evidence in Criminal Case No. 165.
“A very quick perusal of some portions of the Omnibus Order in Case 165 shows that the Court took at face value Ragos and Ablen’s claim of delivery of P10 million, which is a total lie,” said De Lima. (30)